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Peruvian Amazon could become global centre of ‘carbon piracy’: report

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Issue date: 
December 01, 2011
Publisher Name: 
Forest Carbon Asia
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The Peruvian Amazon is the new global centre of “carbon piracy”, as banks, conservationists and entrepreneurs rush to snap up the legal rights to trade carbon, according to a report published today at the UN climate talks in Durban.

More than 35 major projects covering around 7m hectares of Peruvian rainforest have been set up to profit from the global voluntary carbon offset market and a proposed UN forestry scheme, say the report’s authors, Peruvian group Asociación Interétnica de Desarrollo de la Selva Peruana (AIDESEP).

The rush to sign up communities for carbon offsetting has so far been mainly seen in Papua New Guinea, Africa and Indonesia. But Peruvian indigenous leader say the rush in the Amazon has been like a “new fever”, comparable to earlier attempts by international companies to find oil and grow rubber in the Amazon.

“NGOs, carbon consultants and investors are roaming the jungle in search of communities with carbon offsetting potential. In one case this even involved an effort to convince communities to sign away their rights to carbon in a contract with no defined end point,” said Alberto Pizango Chota, the head of AIDESEP.

Several British-based companies are said to be linked to offset deals, says the report. WWF and Cool Earth are seen by the authors as representing the more acceptable face of the rush, but others “involve long-term commercial contracts with communities whose terms are extremely favourable to external commercial interests and NGOs,” says the report.

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Extpub | by Dr. Radut